As Valentine’s Day rolls around, it’s important to remember to use caution when lighting and burning candles. Between 2009 and 2013, there were 9,300 reported home structure fires in the US that were started by candles, with an average of approximately 25 fires reported per day. Damage from these fires amounted to 86 deaths, 827 injuries and $374 million in direct property damage.
A third of these fires started in bedrooms, where falling asleep played a role in 11% percent of reported home candle fires and a third of the associated deaths.
To minimize the damage and injury associated with burning candles, we have compiled a list of candle safety tips. Suggestions from the list include:
- Blow out candles before leaving the room or going to bed
- Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom
- Utilize candle holders that are sturdy, and won’t tip over easily
- Use flameless candles
Candles should also be kept at least 12 inches away from anything flammable, as more than half of home fires caused by candles occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle. NFPA also offers a candle safety video to help you implement safe practices regarding candles in the home.
Be sure to keep your loved ones safe this Valentine’s Day by adhering to basic candle safety guidelines. If you want to share safety tips and messages through social media, feel free to use NFPA's pre-made posts found on our website.